Kolby O'Donnell is entering his fourth season as an assistant coach at UC Santa Barbara.
O'Donnell has been Welch's top assistant since arriving in Santa Barbara before the 2013 season. Along with helping guide the Gauchos to their 2013 Big West Championship, O'Donnell has also played a pivotal role in securing three top-30 recruiting classes in the past four years, including UCSB's No. 18 ranked 2015 recruiting class, which is the highest ranking in program history.
In the 2015 season, he helped Phoebe Grunt and Emilia Petrachi earn all-conference selections with each receiving honorable mentions.
In 2014, he helped guide Ali Barbeau to First Team All-Big West accolades, and Chanel Hoffman and Ali Spindt to honorable mentions.
O’Donnell helped guide UCSB to a Big West Championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance in his first year with the team in 2013. Working with outside hitters and middle blockers that year, he coached Ali Barbeau (OH), Phoebe Grunt (MB), and Ali Spindt (OH) to all-conference status.
He was hired as an assistant coach in March 2013 in Nicole Lantagne Welch's first staffing move at the head of the program.
O'Donnell takes on a number of responsibilities with the program. He serves as the defensive coordinator for the squad, organizing opponent scouting and blocking game plans. In practice, he mainly works with the outside hitters, opposites, liberos, and middle blockers. O'Donnell also serves as the recruiting coordinator for the program.
O'Donnell previously served as an assistant for Lantagne Welch at the University of Miami in 2012, where he helped the Hurricanes to a 25-6 overall record in what was one of the most impressive seasons in program history. Under Lantagne Welch and O'Donnell's tutelage, Miami won a program-record 17 conference games and finished within one game of the ACC Championship despite graduating three All-Conference players in 2011.
Prior to his stint at Miami, O'Donnell was on the staff at Appalachian State, serving as Assistant Coach from 2008-10 and as Associate Head Coach in 2011-12. O'Donnell also served as Recruiting Coordinator for the Mountaineers.
His first coaching stop was at Radford University, where he was an assistant from 2006-08.
O'Donnell's teams have had a propensity for rapid improvement when he is on the bench, especially in the blocking department. In 2012, Miami's middles averaged 2.90 blocks per set, a program record, including a whopping 23 block effort at Clemson. In 2009, Appalachian State finished thirteenth in the nation in blocks per set.
O'Donnell also had a successful playing career, captaining the Lees-McRae College Bobcats for four years, leading them to a 66-26 record.